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Charles Gerald Taylor

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Charles Gerald Taylor (1863-1915)


1915 Obituary [1]

Engineer-Captain CHARLES GERALD TAYLOR, M.V.O., R.N., was born at Ruabon, North Wales, on 8th May 1863.

He was educated at the Grammar School at Ruabon, after which he went to Portsmouth Dockyard as engineer student in H.M.S. "Marlborough" from 1879 to 1885. In the latter year he joined the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, and on 1st July 1886 was granted a commission as assistant-engineer, with seniority.

He received an appointment to H.M.S. "Carysfort," Mediterranean Fleet, in May 1887, and remained on that ship until May 1890, when he was invalided home with malarial fever. On 30th October of the same year he joined H.M.S. "Gossamer," remaining until January 1891, when he went to H.M.S. "Imperieuse," China Station, having been promoted to engineer, with seniority in 1890.

He was next appointed to H.M.S. "St. George" in June 1894, and after three months was transferred to H.M.S. "Banshee." A year later he joined H.M.S. "Quail," and remained in that ship on her transfer to the North America and West Indies Station.

In February 1898 he was appointed to H.M.S. "Renown," Halifax Dockyard, and in December 1900 became Chief Engineer, with seniority. He returned to England in March 1903, and in April of that year he joined H.M.S. "Aurora," taking, under the new nomenclature, the rank of Engineer-Lieutenant, with seniority 1st September 1890.

In August 1904 he was transferred to H.M.S. "Racer," Royal Naval College, Osborne, being at the same time a Member of the Committee on the Extension of the Training of Officers' New Scheme. In this capacity he received the commendation of the Lords of the Admiralty for the work done by the Committee, and was promoted to the rank of Engineer-Commander on 30th December 1904.

He went to sea again in September 1907 on board H.M.S. "Cumberland " (cadets' training ship), and in April 1908 was appointed to H.M.S. "Espiêgle," Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, where his work once more received the special recognition of the Lords of the Admiralty. On 10th February 1911 be was made a Member of the 4th Class of the Royal Victorian Order.

In March 1911 he was appointed to H.M.S. "Superb," in the Home Fleet, being promoted to Engineer-Captain, with seniority on 7th February 1912, in which capacity he was retained by the Admiralty for the new scheme of training officers for the Royal Navy.

In October 1912 he joined H.M.S. "Hercules," additional for service on the staff of the Vice-Admiral Commanding the Second Battle Squadron, and in August of the following year was made Engineer-Captain in Command, Royal Naval College, Keyham.

In September 1914 he joined the staff of the Vice-Admiral Commanding the First Battle-Cruiser Squadron, and was present in the capacity of engineering expert and adviser to Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty in all subsequent services. It was on board H.M.S. "Tiger," in the engagement of 24th January 1915, in the North Sea, that he met his death by gun-fire, in his fifty-second year, being the only officer to lose his life on the occasion.

He was elected a Member of this Institution in 1900.


1915 Obituary [2]

CHARLES GERALD TAYLOR, Engineer Captain in His Majesty's Navy, lost his life in the action that took place in the North Sea on January 24, 1915, between the British and German fleets. In a report of this action Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty, K.C.B., who announced the death of Engineer Captain Taylor, said that his "services have been invaluable," and ho expressed the deep regret of all connected with the Fleet. This feeling is shared not only by Captain Taylor's colleagues in the Navy, but by a very large circle of constructive engineers, who recognized his special engineering skill and resourcefulness, while knowing also his great administrative and educational ability as displayed in connection with the training of officers, for which he was at various periods of his career directly responsible.

Engineer Captain Taylor was the only engineer who lost his life in the engagement. From September 1914 he accompanied the first Battle-Cruiser Squadron, and was present during all its recent services as engineering expert and adviser to Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty. He was present in this capacity on board the Tiger on January 24th, when he met his death by gun-fire. His loss to the Service is a great one, became of his sound judgment, and the wide experience gained during the course of his career.

Born on May 8, 1863, he entered the Navy on July 1, 1885, serving first as an engineer student in the Training School at Portsmouth, and at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich. He was granted a commission as assistant-engineer, with seniority, July 1, 1886. He received an appointment to H.M.S. Carysfort, employed on particular service, in May 1887, and remained in that ship on her being recommissioned for the Mediterranean Station.

He was invalided home in May 1890, suffering from malarial fever, and was not found fit for active service until the end of September in that year. On October 30, 1890, he received an appointment to H.M.S. Gossamer, where he continued until January 1891, when he went to H.M.S. Imperieuse, on the China Station. He had previously been promoted to engineer with seniority, September 1, 1890. He remained on the China Station over three years, returning to England in June 1894. Commendation was expressed for the satisfactory state of the machinery of H.M.S. Imperieuse on paying off.

His next appointment was to H.M.S. St. George in June 1894, where he was for three months, being then transferred to H.M.S. Banshee. A year later (September 1895) he was appointed to H.M.S. Quail. He remained in that ship on her transfer to the North America and West Indies Station. 310 Obituary

In February 1898 he received an appointment to H.M.S. Renown, additional for service in Halifax Dockyard, where he did useful service for five years. While holding this position he was appointed Chief Engineer, on December 30, 1900.

He returned to England in March 1903. Under the new nomenclature as regards engineer officers he became an Engineer Lieutenant, with seniority, September 1, 1890, and was appointed in this rank to H.M.S. Aurora in April 1903. In August 1904 he was transferred to H.M.S. Racer for duty at the Royal Naval College at Osborne. While holding this office he received, as a Member of the Committee on the Extension of the Training of Officers' New Scheme, an expression of their Lordships' cordial recognition of the energy and capacity displayed by the Committee. He was promoted to Engineer Commander, with seniority, December 30, 1904. In September 1907 he went to sea again in H.M.S. Cumberland (cadets' training-ship), and in the following April was appointed to H.M.S. Espiegle, additional for service at the Royal Naval College, Dart- mouth, where he continued for nearly three years. His work in the elaboration of, and in carrying out in all its stages, the engineering instruction of young officers entered under the new scheme, received commendation of the Lords of the Admiralty.

On February 10, 1911, he was appointed a member of the 4th Class of the Royal Victorian Order. In March 1911 he received an appointment to H.M.S. Superb, in the Home Fleet, where he remained until promoted to Engineer Captain (with seniority, February 7, 1912).

On promotion he was retained at the Admiralty for duties in connection with the new scheme of training officers for the Royal Navy. In October 1912 he was appointed to H.M.S. Hercules, additional for service on the staff of the Vice-Admiral commanding the second Battle Squadron, and in the following August proceeded to the Royal Naval College, Keyham, as Engineer Captain in Command, on the College being reopened for the training of officers specializing for engineering under the new scheme. He remained in this appointment till September 1914, when he joined the staff of the Vice-Admiral Commanding the first Battle-Cruiser Squadron.

Engineer Captain Taylor was in his early years a great athlete, and in all his earlier appointments a valuable leader in athletic exercises, a fact which greatly assisted him in the work of training officers for the Service. He was a fine cricketer and an International Rugby football player, playing three-quarter back for Wales on many occasions. He was also a great pole jumper, excelling in this all competitors in Army and Navy circles. He was a popular and highly efficient naval officer, whose loss will be much felt.

He will be chiefly remembered in the Royal Navy for the part he took in connection with the engineering training of officers entered under the scheme, originated in 1903, for supplying one class of officers for the Navy, which has recently been accentuated by embodying the engineer officers (separately entered under the old system) in the Military Branch.

He was elected a member of the Institute of Metals in 1913.


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